Pros and cons of hi-vis

Topics relating to Advanced Riding on bikes
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Horse
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Re: Santa list?

Postby Horse » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:56 pm

ancient wrote:That picture nicely illustrates another problem with HiViz when it actually works. The dozy-person's attention is drawn towards the farther rider, away from the nearer. Given that attention is limited, this is bad news for anyone not wearing HiViz. It's a 'beggar thy neighbour' approach in the same way as the lighting war.


A message some cyclists could learn from. I saw one a while ago. At least, I couldn't see much other than his head torch, aimed well ahead at approaching drivers. However, that meant I couldn't see the other cyclists following him . . .
My own views. For better or worse :)

ancient
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Re: Santa list?

Postby ancient » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:55 pm

Horse wrote:
ancient wrote:That picture nicely illustrates another problem with HiViz when it actually works. The dozy-person's attention is drawn towards the farther rider, away from the nearer. Given that attention is limited, this is bad news for anyone not wearing HiViz. It's a 'beggar thy neighbour' approach in the same way as the lighting war.


A message some cyclists could learn from. I saw one a while ago. At least, I couldn't see much other than his head torch, aimed well ahead at approaching drivers. However, that meant I couldn't see the other cyclists following him . . .

I am sure you are aware of the lack of interest many mainstream UK cycle shops demonstrate in selling properly configured, road-safe cycle lights (much easier to buy online, from Germany). Once the simple lack of power available in such small lights made this a non-issue. Now with high intensity lights so easily powered in small packages, cyclists are dazzlng motorists in the same way that motorists have for years dazzled other road users, with their vastly more powerful headlamps, either badly adjusted or left un-dipped. Unfortunately the 'Safety' brigade has bought into the 'brighter is better' lie so that it is difficult to convince all sorts of road users, that blinding oncoming traffic (motorised or otherwise) is not a Good Thing. Several times recently I have stopped because I was unable to see the road past oncoming car/bus headlights. Twice there was a vulnerable road user there (one using completely invisible 'Hi Viz'). OTOH I was pulled over for (correctly) using sidelights in a stream of traffic on a lit (30mph) road.

;) but we all know this of course, and can link to Lightmare if we wish.

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Santa list?

Postby GTR1400MAN » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:01 pm

Horse wrote:
GTR1400MAN wrote: Glowing: . . . all can reflect some light in various directions, but not at full intensity.


Come on! You know that's not how retro-reflective material works - it does exactly the opposite! If it scatters light then it's just 'normal' material.

Yes, I know it reflects strongest back to where it came from.

I'll try and explain what I mean.

If for example riding in town the fact that you have a multitude of surfaces (as it's not flat) and a multitude of light sources, the chances of the jacket being illuminated are greatly increased, compared to a few flat strips. Add in some element of light leakage and these jackets do 'glow' to the observers eye.

I don't know what they are made of (micro glass bead of some sort) and I've not been able to find any links to lab test, but seeing one in real life I can't believe just how much they light up. They make the normal glass bead tape look grey and are much brighter than prismatic stuff. Sure it lights up best in car headlights and if that means I'm seen in the distance, rather than last minute, I think it has a benefit.

What do other drivers think?
Mike Roberts

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Horse
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Re: Santa list?

Postby Horse » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:32 pm

GTR1400MAN wrote: Sure it lights up best in car headlights and if that means I'm seen in the distance, rather than last minute, I think it has a benefit.


So back to my question :) Where - describe an instance - where it might provide a benefit. I managed it ;)

NB Want to see (sic) a total misunderstanding of conspicuity?

http://www.klim.com/Apex-Jacket-3052-000
BIO-MOTION RECOGNITION ENGINEERED REFLECTIVE PLACEMENT

So which bit of 'motion' applies to a static (as in 'sat still') motorcyclist? :lol: :headbang:
My own views. For better or worse :)

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Santa list?

Postby GTR1400MAN » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:01 pm

Horse wrote:So back to my question :) Where - describe an instance - where it might provide a benefit. I managed it ;)

Well, like the one you mentioned of waiting in a side road to exit (I had it in my original draft of my first post :) ). How about sat a T-junction on an unlit B road waiting to turn and the vehicle is approaching from behind at speed? I'll be seen earlier. Or crossing a RAB with a vehicle coming from the left. etc. They are all going to be situations with side or rear views mainly, though just making me 'bigger' in a head on approach can't be a bad thing.

Horse wrote:NB Want to see (sic) a total misunderstanding of conspicuity?

http://www.klim.com/Apex-Jacket-3052-000
BIO-MOTION RECOGNITION ENGINEERED REFLECTIVE PLACEMENT

So which bit of 'motion' applies to a static (as in 'sat still') motorcyclist? :lol: :headbang:

Load of marketing mumbo jumbo. Not really sure what they are trying to convey.
Mike Roberts

ancient
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Re: Santa list?

Postby ancient » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:53 pm

GTR1400MAN wrote: Sure it lights up best in car headlights and if that means I'm seen in the distance, rather than last minute, I think it has a benefit.

What do other drivers think?

I don't know of any research into HiViz use on the roads which demonstrates a reduction in incident rate or an increase in safety, do you? My understanding is that whilst tests prove that they definitely can be seen earlier, injury rates don't actually decrease. Whether that is because those seeing reflectives in real life situations confuse them with roadside furniture, or whether they process their presence too early then dismiss them as 'not a threat' and forget about them, or whether it is risk compensation; being seen earlier does not (AIUI) translate into being safer. Do you have links to research that indicates otherwise?

With correctly functioning headlights (which I have) and attention to what is in my planned path, I can see completely unlit objects in dark matt colours in good time to not drive into them. Were I instead vaguely paying attention to what is in front of me whilst listening to the radio and wondering why Linda is such an awfully bad Bad Fairy (or whatever), I would potentially dismiss the HiViz as a distant road sign (which must therefore be beside the road and not in my path) and be surprised when it turned out to be on my bonnet.

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Horse
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Re: Santa list?

Postby Horse » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:19 pm

ancient wrote: I don't know of any research into HiViz use on the roads which demonstrates a reduction in incident rate or an increase in safety, do you? My understanding is that whilst tests prove that they definitely can be seen earlier . . .


That research I linked is some of the best done. That's not my view ;)
https://ambulancevisibilityblog.wordpre ... ng-safety/

Emergency workers and HiVis clothing – our perception of safety may be dangerously flawed!
Posted on March 19, 2012 by John Killeen (Ambulance Visibility)

Just how how safe are we as emergency workers at an incident scene when stepping out onto the road ? Our on-road activities are an integral part of life in an ambulance/EMS, police, fire or rescue response. We pull-on a ‘safety’ vest or fluorescent jacket over our uniforms and then start work, trusting our lives to the passive conspicuity built into a piece of clothing that is specially designed and officially sanctioned for use day & night in hazardous situations.

Over the years there has been a vast amount of detailed research undertaken, along with changing OH&S legislation and recent occupational education, all reinforcing that emergency workers can substantially increase their on-road ‘safety’ margin by wearing a fluorescent/reflective vest. Regardless, emergency workers should always concentrate on maintaining a high level of situational awareness at incidents and never, ever turn their back on traffic. As a group, all workers have been repeatedly reassured that protective clothing continuously radiates a spectrum of colour enhanced conspicuity through 360 degrees. I too have been guilty of always believing in this dictum (albeit somewhat nervously and with occasional reservations) but after reading a recent email sent by Malcolm Palmer, I am not so sure anymore!

This research project was different: – Unlike most earlier studies, the test participants were not given specific instructions to search for the key visual elements. The test participants provided a running commentary as they drove around the track and were interviewed later after the drive. The research results demonstrated that unlike earlier research, road workers were often detected only at short distances, sometimes as low as 25 to 45 meters (27-49 yards). The road workers were also found to be less than conspicuous, even when wearing high-visibility clothing. The workers that were interviewed for the study were also likely to greatly over-estimate their personal levels of conspicuity.

Even more surprising was the fact that greater than 50% of the test-driver participants in their everyday driving (off the test track) did not expect to see people around a vehicle when its warning lights were activated! This amazing outcome very much flies in the face of most common beliefs.

Reading this important study has certainly changed my perceptions about my conspicuity and it is definitely a report that will change common assumptions in others about their own personal safety. This report document should be widely circulated to your colleagues, around your local stations and throughout your agency’s administration.


Personal opinion:
For pedestrians - great, I'm all in favour - as long as they don't imagine it will help them. To quote Sussex Uni advice to the police: "It's a uniform, not a forcefield" Don't expect to be seen, don't expect a driver to know what they're seeing, don't expect them to react the way you want or expect. For cyclists? Probably rear-facing is beneficial - it makes me smile/groan when I see cyclists wearing a ricksack over their hi-viz . . . For motorcyclists? Meh. Anything over a moped / small scooter it is a waste of time. Be proactive, don't wait for the driver to possibly see you. Use active positioning to attract attention. Even on the smaller machines, a normal waistcoat is a waste of time.
My own views. For better or worse :)

ancient
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Re: Santa list?

Postby ancient » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:53 pm

Horse wrote:The research results demonstrated that unlike earlier research, road workers were often detected only at short distances, sometimes as low as 25 to 45 meters (27-49 yards). The road workers were also found to be less than conspicuous, even when wearing high-visibility clothing. The workers that were interviewed for the study were also likely to greatly over-estimate their personal levels of conspicuity.

Sorry, I was using language imprecisely.
By "seen earlier" I meant that they are processed as part of the scene. This is (very) different from being noticed as something that it is important to drive around ("conspicuous" in the quoted research). That is what I was trying to get at when comparing them to road furniture. HiViz does look like road signs - especially when not particularly paying attention (i.e. not 'wondering what that is' for everything in the path of the vehicle). Road signs need no particular avoidance plan, the way something in the road would, so HiViz may get dismissed as 'no threat - nothing to do'. Looking like road furniture in the distance is not necessarily a way to be "conspicuous", although more light does reach the drivers' eyes from the HiViz - so they are 'seen'.

Anyway, that study agrees with my understanding that HiViz does not give an increase in safety that would be expected by anyone using 'common sense'.

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Santa list?

Postby GTR1400MAN » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:05 pm

Horse wrote:Personal opinion:
For pedestrians - great, I'm all in favour - as long as they don't imagine it will help them. To quote Sussex Uni advice to the police: "It's a uniform, not a forcefield" Don't expect to be seen, don't expect a driver to know what they're seeing, don't expect them to react the way you want or expect. For cyclists? Probably rear-facing is beneficial - it makes me smile/groan when I see cyclists wearing a ricksack over their hi-viz . . . For motorcyclists? Meh. Anything over a moped / small scooter it is a waste of time. Be proactive, don't wait for the driver to possibly see you. Use active positioning to attract attention. Even on the smaller machines, a normal waistcoat is a waste of time.

For HiVz/Flourescent/Dayglo daytime use I'd agree.

For night time/dusk though I'll still advocate use of reflective material. Most bikes still have tiny rear lights compared to what has happened to cars ... and I'm talking size/surface area not brightness. Throw in some rain/mist/fog and your visibility from behind/side is even worse. That reflective stripe/patch/full jacket may be the bit of light that does alert the driver of your presence.

Makes a change for me to be arguing pro visibility aids, but night time riding rarely comes up in HiViz discussions. :)
Mike Roberts

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Santa list?

Postby GTR1400MAN » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:23 pm

Perhaps the HiViz derailment could be separated into a new topic in the motorcycle section by Admin/Mods?

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Mike Roberts


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